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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-09-27

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 27 September 2010 Issue No: 3603


  • [01] PM outlines planned changes in higher education during Delphi meeting
  • [02] FM holds series of meetings with int'l counterparts on UN sidelines
  • [03] Deputy FM for Greeks abroad holds contacts in NYC
  • [04] DM meets with Serbian counterpart in Thessaloniki
  • [05] Greek ship hijacked by Somali pirates in Indian Ocean
  • [06] French warship in Thessaloniki for commemoration of breakthrough on WWI Macedonian Front
  • [07] Papoulias unveils bust of WWII hero
  • [08] FinMin: Investment interest in Greece impeded by bureaucracy
  • [09] Man arrested for stealing 15 tons of iron
  • [10] Armed robbery at super market
  • [11] Italy's Ivan Cudin wins Spartathlon 2010
  • [12] Super League results
  • [13] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

  • [01] PM outlines planned changes in higher education during Delphi meeting

    The main guidelines of the government's planned changes in higher education were outlined by Prime Minister George Papandreou at the commencement of a dialogue on a new draft framework law for tertiary education, held in Delphi on Sunday.

    Papandreou announced that a new system will be introduced under which students will gain entry into universities rather than specific university schools or departments, as is currently the case.

    The plan, proposed by the Ministry of Education, includes unifications of universities and technical institutions of higher education (TEI) through unifications, mergers and abolitions of departments.

    The Delphi meeting is attended by education minister Anna Diamantopoulou, university rectors, TEI presidents and representatives of teachers' associations and social agencies.

    The prime minister further linked the citizen with life-long learning, and stressed the need to tear down the walls between the various levels of education in order to render knowledge accessible at any age, but with the required certification.

    Papandreou also stressed the need for the extroversion and internationalisation of the universities so as to be able to take in professors as well as students from abroad.

    Greece, he continued, is among the 30 richest countries but suffers from bad management of its wealth and human potential, and stressed the need to highlight its potential, creativity and productivity.

    Referring to the economic crisis, Papandreou said that must has been said about the crisis in Greece and many people not only realise the necessity of but are also willing to take part in and demand a change for a Greece that stands firmly on its feet, without borrowed strength.

    Education is a fundamental necessity for the country's survival, the premier explained, adding that it is a wager for the young generation, which has a choice between leaving or change. "This is how the youth feel today. We, however, are determined to change that. We want the participation, not the departure, of the youth," he stressed.

    Papandreou noted that Greece is in third place with regard to university entrants, but in 118th place as regards effectiveness. "From the veneer of democracy we must go to real freedom. The university must serve the country's needs and have a say, which it does not, today," he said, adding that "the academics have, to a degree, become involved in politics in Greece...They are not an autonomous voice that brings proposals and solutions".

    In today's globalised economy, "no one can hide", he said: "We are judged and we judged. It is a delusion that a young person can go ahead if he has 'connections'."

    "Today, we are judged on meritocracy, excellence, competitiveness. These are the fundamental concepts. It is our duty to give to the young people all the tools to acquire substantial knowledge, and not simply a piece of paper. Consequently, internationalisation of the institutions (of learning) and substantive participation are required, participation of all the professors and students with open procedures. This is important for our economy, too, because in this way we will create contacts with other economies and societies and possibilities will arise for investments in Greece as well," the premier continued.

    Papandreou spoke of the acceptance of foreign students into Greek universities, for example through scholarships, stressing however, that "we must see how much every student costs us and, of course, pay, but a foreign student should be able to submit his scholarship, which we will utlilise".

    He also stressed the need for universities to be constantly developing and not bogged down by antiquated perceptions, as well as the need for them to become competitive, innovative and creative.

    Education minister

    Addressing the meeting earlier, Diamantopoulou described the situation in higher education in Greece, and proposed the establishment of regional councils to regulate the number of students, educators and entrants.

    She further proposed that the universities be managed by an administrative council that would undertake management of the funding, while the academic affairs would be managed by the rectoral authorities.

    The minister also announced that changes are being mulled in the organisation of studies themselves, and the examination and teaching systems, noting that students, professors and other citizens will be able to take part in the dialogue via the internet.

    "Today, we are waging the mother of all the battles, and we are ready, because change in education means that we are changing Greece," Diamantopoulou said, and invited the political forces of the country to join in on the dialogue.

    [02] FM holds series of meetings with int'l counterparts on UN sidelines


    Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas held a series of meetings on Friday with his counterparts from Panama, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, Republic of Korea as well as the UN chief's special mediator for the Cyprus issue, Alexander Downer, on the sidelines of an international session on disarmament.

    Droutsas briefed his counterparts on Athens' positions on several issues and on the course of the Greek economy.

    On Saturday, Droutsas attended the Cypriot Federation of America's annual main event, conveying the support of PM George Papandreou towards Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    [03] Deputy FM for Greeks abroad holds contacts in NYC

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    Deputy Foreign Minister for Hellenes Abroad affairs Dimitris Dollis stressed that an "overall, rather than piecemeal" handling of Greek Diaspora issues, substantive utilisation of the overseas Greeks and "actions, not words", are the fundamental priorities of the Greek government regarding Greeks abroad, in meetings with Greek-American organisations and media interviews in New York.

    He also said that, after 15 years of operation, the institution of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) needs to be re-examined so that the SAE adapts to the new status quo and needs of not only Greeks abroad but chiefly the younger generation.

    Dollis noted that he will meet next week in Thessaloniki with members of the SAE council to discuss all aspects of its function and mission. "We will listen to all the views and, in a spirit of unity, move forward, choosing the proper course," he said, adding that the main aspiration is the contact of people of Greek heritage with Greece and to seek efficient means through education and culture.

    [04] DM meets with Serbian counterpart in Thessaloniki

    Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday met with his Serbian counterpart Dragan Sutanovac during a working lunch at the Thessaloniki Officers' Club.

    The two ministers discussed bilateral cooperation, in the wake of similar contacts previously on the occasion of a visit to Greece by the president of Serbia.

    Venizelos noted that Greece facilitate Serbia's accession to Euro-Atlantic institutions, while reiterated Athens' support for Serbia's European and Euro-Atlantic prospects, along with all other western Balkan countries.

    In reference to Kosovo, Venizelos stressed that Greece is present in Kosovo because it wants to contribute to regional stability.

    "We hope that a solution, within the framework of international law, will be reached that will be acceptable to all, and certainly acceptable by Serbia, which has a well-known historical interest for this region."

    On his part, Sutanovac praised Athens' clear-cut position, which he called a position of principle on the most important issue for Serbia in the current period.

    "We are experiencing and will continue to experience a difficult period," he said. The Serbian DM nevertheless said he believes that with the contribution of all parties, including Greece, peace and stability can be achieved not only in Kosovo and Serbia but throughout the region.

    [05] Greek ship hijacked by Somali pirates in Indian Ocean

    Somali pirates on Saturday hijacked a Greek-owned cargo ship in the Indian Ocean, some 900 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, the EU anti-piracy force in Somalia (EUNAVFOR) announced.

    The Panama-flagged "MV Lugela", carrying a load of steel bars and wires and a 12-member crew of Ukrainians, sent a distress call to company headquarters on Saturday as Somali pirates attacked the 4,281 dwt freighter after transiting through the Gulf of Aden headed for Mauritius, and a short while later the ship altered its course towards Somalia, a spokesman for the EUNAVFOR's operation "Atalanta" said.

    According to EUNAVFOR, the vessel was in the Somali basin, approximately 900 miles east of the Somali pirate den of Eyl, Somalia, at the time of the incident.

    [06] French warship in Thessaloniki for commemoration of breakthrough on WWI Macedonian Front

    ‘he French frigate "Surcouf" arrived off the northern port of Thessaloniki on Saturday to participate in events commemorating the breakthrough of Entente forces on the WWI-era Macedonian Front -- Sept. 15, 1918.

    A ceremony was held at the Allied cemetery, better known as Zejtinlik, which was attended by foreign and local officials.

    According to the French consulate in Thessaloniki, the frigate's visit is held within the framework of excellent French-Greek military ties, particularly naval cooperation, and "highlights the long-time bonds of friendship between the two countries' armed forces, ones dating back to 1821."

    The 125-metre, 3,600-DWT FS Surcouf is a F7111-type warship. The commander of the vessel and its 153-member crew is Cmd. Marc Antoine de Saint Germain.

    [07] Papoulias unveils bust of WWII hero

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday unveiled a bust of Greek World War II hero Colonel Mordechai Frizis in Halkida, Evia prefecture.

    The Halkida-born Frizis (1893-1940), a Greek Jew, was also a hero in WWI, serving in the Greek Army's Ukraine and Asia Minor campaigns. In WWII, during the Italian invasion in 1940, he headed the 8th Division, freeing Konitsa and chasing the Italians into Albanian territory. He was the first senior Greek officer to be killed in action, on Dec. 5, 1940, at the Kalpaki site, northeast of Premeti, during an Italian aerial attack of his unit's position. The ceremony was organised by the municipality of Halkida, the "Friends of Colonel Frizis" committee and the Jewish Community of Halkida.

    Financial News

    [08] FinMin: Investment interest in Greece impeded by bureaucracy

    Finance minister George Papaconstantinou said that there is investment interest for Greece from many countries, but bureaucracy remains a serious impediment, in addition to the crisis in confidence, in an interview in a Sunday newspaper.

    Restoration of confidence in the country through the improvement of the fiscal situation and combined with the more auspicious and friendly climate for investors being advanced will have a positive impact on investments and growth in the coming decade, the minister explained in an interview appearing in the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper.

    He also stressed the importance of the implementation and success of the country's economic program, noting that "2013 will not be a good year if things don't go well in 2010, 2011 and 2012".

    Greece's smooth return to the markets can be ensured only through attainment of the targets that have been set out, and when it becomes clear that order is being put in the country's finances, he said, adding: "We still have a long way to go, but I believe that the conditions in 2011 will allow this."

    The minister also said that an increase in objective real estate values will be announced at the end of the year, to enter into effect on January 1, 2011, with the aim of the objective values reaching the market values. This, he explained, will mean increases in objective values in a number of areas and zones, but also possible reductions in others.

    He further said that the government has, at the present stage, rejected the prospect of mass transfer of goods from the 11 percent VAT rate to 23 percent, but this means that some other measure will need to be taken to fill the "fiscal void" this leaves, adding that the final decisions will be contained in the draft 2011 budget that will be tabled in parliament on October 4.

    On the public utilities and organisations privatisation programme, Papaconstantinou said that the bill on the restructuring of the Hellenic Rail Organisation (OSE) will be voted on soon in parliament, while the plan for the deregulation of the energy market is expected at the end of the year.

    Turning to tax evasion, Papaconstantinou said that this is the first time that Greece is utilising data on bank accounts abroad, on a wide basis.

    General News

    [09] Man arrested for stealing 15 tons of iron

    A 32-year-old man was arrested by police in Kozani for steeling 15 tons of iron from a Public Power Corp. (PPC) plant in Kardia.

    The man's truck, which had no licence plates, was seized and the iron was returned to the PPC.

    The detainee will be sent before a local prosecutor.

    [10] Armed robbery at super market

    An armed robbery of a super market in the Athens coastal district of Paleo Faliro was reported on Saturday after two armed suspects threatened a armoured truck employee just after he had collected 50,000 euros from the store.

    The suspects took the cash bag fled.


    [11] Italy's Ivan Cudin wins Spartathlon 2010

    Italian ultra-distance runner Ivan Cudin won the 28th Spartathlon on Saturday, covering the 246 kilometre distance from Athens to Sparta in just over 23 hours. The race started out on Friday from the Acropolis in Athens.

    With a time of 23:03:06, Cudin topped a record turnout of 325 athletes of both genders from 32 countries, with Jan Albert Lantink of The Netherlands in second place with a time of 23:31:22 and Jan Prochaska of Germany in third with a time of 24:55:58, while the top Greek in the competition was Stergios Anastasiadis, who placed 10th overall with 29:03:14.

    The top woman was Emily Gelder of Great Britain, who placed 14th in the overall standings with 30:17:03.

    The Spartathlon is a historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place in September of every year in Greece. It is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra distance races in the world because of its unique history and background.

    The race retraces the route of Pheidippides, whom the Athenian generals sent to Sparta to seek reinforcement for their sparse forces in order to confront the "Asian tide" (incursion), according to the historian Herodotus on the 490 BC Battle of Marathon.

    For 28 consecutive years, the Spartathlon athletes have followed the route John Foden and his team defined in 1982 when they experimented in running from Athens to Sparta. It is based on Herodotus' description of the Athenian 'Imerodromou' or messenger who arrived in Sparta the day after he departed from Athens and also on well known historical events of that time. It has, therefore, been considered the nearest route to that which Pheidippides must have followed.

    The battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., one of the most famous battles in world history, constituted a landmark and a starting point in the history of civilization. The triumph of the genius of Miltiades and the self-denial of his soldiers made the hordes of Persians flee and rescued Athens and Hellenism from the utmost danger of subjugation to the barbarian invaders. The effects of the victory at Marathon continue to influence the present. It was the first victory against the planned domination of "Asianization" over Europe and an event with momentous significance. Because of this victory, Athens was able to achieve a great deal and bequeath the benefits of its knowledge, arts and virtue to mankind.

    Briefly, Miltiades' messenger Pheidippides started out of Athens on the ancient Iera Odos, or "sacred road," up to Elefsis. From there he followed Skyronia Odos, a military road on the slopes of the Gerania Mountains, and travelled through Isthmia, Examilia and Ancient Corinth. He went on to Ancient Nemea, thus avoiding the Epicratea of Argos, as it wasn't in alliance with Athens, and he continued along the mountains between Argolida and Arcadia. He climbed the Parthenio Mountain (1200 meters), where he encountered the God Pan. Descending the mountain, he continued in the direction of historical Tegea, one of the locations mentioned by Herodotus in his account about Pheidippides. He proceeded south toward Sparta. Upon his arrival in Sparta, he completed 1,140 "stadia" (with one 'stadio' equalling the length of one stadium), totalling 246 kilometres.

    In 1879 the English poet Robert Browning wrote the stirring poem 'Pheidepeides'. It is said that the poem so inspired Baron Pierre de Coubertin and other founders of the modern Olympic Games that they were prompted to create a foot race of 42 km which would be named the Marathon.

    "Archons of Athens, topped by the tettix, see, I return!

    See, 'tis myself here standing alive, no spectre that speaks!

    Crowned with the myrtle, did you command me, Athens and you,

    "Run, Pheidippides, run and race, reach Sparta for aid!

    Persia has come, we are here, where is she?" Your command I obeyed,

    Ran and raced: like stubble, some field which a fire runs through,

    Was the space between city and city: two days, two nights did I burn Over the hills, under the dales, down pits and up peaks."

    Two and a half thousand years after that historical battle, a sports event, inseparably related to it, was born in Greece. The Spartathlon is inseparably linked with the Olympic ideals of friendship, peace, selflessness and fraternity.

    The ultra-distance runners were greeted by Spartans at the entrance to the city, while a lavish ceremony in honor of the winners was held in the center of Sparta on Saturday evening.

    [12] Super League results

    Olympiacos Piraeus reached the top the standings of the Greek Super League on Sunday, after easily downing a tough Asteras Tripolis 3-0 at home on Saturday.

    In other action:

    Atromitos Athens-Panserraikos 2-1

    Panathinaikos Athens-Panionios Athens 2-1

    Iraklis Thessaloniki-Kavala 0-1

    Larissa-Kerkyra 1-1

    Aris Thessaloniki-Ergotelis Crete 1-0

    Xanthi-PAOK Thessaloniki 1-0

    Olympiacos Volos-AEK Athens 3-1

    Standings after four weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos 9 points

    2. Panathinaikos 8

    3. Iraklis 7

    4. Kerkyra 7

    5. Olympiacos Volos 7

    6. Aris 6

    7. Ergotelis 6

    8. PAOK 5

    9. Asteras 5

    10. Kavala 5

    11.Larissa 5

    12. Xanthi 5

    13. AEK 4

    14. Panionios 4

    15. Atromitos 4

    16. Panserraikos 0

    [13] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy and planned changes in higher education institutions were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "100 million euros 'disappeared' from the Special Forestry Agency Fund".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Managers and sponsors in the universities - Upsets in the Higher Education Institutions (AEI)".

    AVGHI: "Policy of 'take it all'."

    AVRIANI: "Gang of lawyers and judges grabbed 'orphaned' real estate properties from auctions".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "21 provocative political favors by 15 ministers".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The three plans for cutbacks in public sector - Civil servants' salaries and benefits once again in the vice".

    ETHNOS: "New universities with half the schools and expulsion of 'eternal' students - Sweeping changes coming in framework law on higher education institutions".

    KATHIMERINI: "Kudos abroad, worry at home - Ministers concerned on whether the negative stance of the markets will be reversed".

    LOGOS: "Pandora's Box will open on November 15 (the day after the second round of the municipal elections)".

    NIKI: "Banks emptying of deposits".

    PARON: "Resounding upsets - Samaras (main opposition New Democracy leader) the winner (over Prime Minister George Papandreou) in the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) showdown, with score of 42.4-28.2".

    RealNews: "Unemployed...Ministers - They're looking for offices and duties".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The only response is struggle and votes for the Popular Rally (Communist Party-backed ticket in the municipal elections)".

    TO VIMA: "We were all corrupt - Find me one minister who did not appoint (persons in the public sector) - 'Explosive' interview with Pangalos (government vice-president)".

    VRADYNI: "Pensions: All the answers - The huge upsets as of January 1".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: "" * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: ILIAS MATSIKAS

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